Bain Capital and Cinven Near Multi-Billion Euro Exit from Stada

Bain Capital and Cinven first invited banks to pitch for a role on a transaction involving Stada, their German pharmaceutical company, nearly a year ago.

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After spinning off its Russian division into a separate company in December—a necessary first step—the business now appears headed for a full or partial exit by the end of the summer.

On Tuesday, Bloomberg reported that Clayton, Dubilier & Rice is seen as the current frontrunner for a potential deal, moving ahead of rival suitors KKR and CVC Capital Partners.

Bids are due later this week in a sale process that kicked off with fireside chats back in April, according to Reuters. At the time, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Hillhouse, Nordic Capital, and Koch Industries had also expressed preliminary interest.

Despite the relatively strong sponsor interest, Bain and Cinven have continued work on a dual-track exit process with ongoing preparations for a domestic IPO. To add even more competitive pressure, reports suggest Bain and Cinven are also exploring options for the sale of a minority stake.

Valuation expectations in either scenario are now north of €11 billion, up from the €10 billion figure that was widely reported last summer when news of the exit planning first broke.

Bain and Cinven acquired Stada in 2017 for €5.3 billion.

The company reported Adjusted EBITDA of €802 million for 2023 and posted topline growth of 17 percent year-over-year.

The performance was driven in part by the company’s consumer products unit, which matched the company’s overall growth rate for the year. Management says this is thanks to their “hero brands” strategy, emphasizing strong local brand awareness and loyalty for specific products in each market.

As part of that effort, Stada acquired 16 brands from Sanofi in 2021, another 16 in 2023, and inked a separate Asia-focused consumer health distribution agreement with the French firm. The company had previously acquired an OTC catalog from GSK in 2020 and purchased Czech consumer health company Walmark.

Despite broader industry challenges in recent years, Stada’s generics portfolio still brings in 40 percent of total sales (equivalent to consumer) and grew mid-single digits last year. Its specialty division jumped 25 percent year-over-year to account for the remainder and may continue to benefit from a pipeline of upcoming biosimilar launches.

Sam Hillier

Sam Hillier is a reporter at Transacted covering private equity and investment banking. He previously spent time as an investment professional focused on direct buyouts, as well as an earlier strategic advisory stint.